Other elements may be added to the iron and carbon mix to create other kinds of steels with different properties.For example, the addition of chromium results in a steel that is stain or rust resistant.Thimbles may go back into classical history, complete with dimples to seat the needle, but also take many forms.Neither open tops nor particular materials will definitively date old thimbles, but they're all among the clues to look for and learn.This explains why old iron thimbles are often heavily damaged and rusted.Steel is a compound of iron and carbon and so depending upon the mix of the two elements, the properties of the alloy may change.I always collected postcards when I traveled, but then I started looking for thimbles instead.Magdalena and William Isbister, Wolf-Dieter Scholz. Iron is a pure element and rusts easily on contact with air and water.
It is not known when the first iron thimbles were made.It is still possible to find spoons that date from as early as the 1500s.As Ronald Pearsall explains in “A Connoisseur's Guide to Antique Silver,” this is because spoons were the first widely used specialist eating utensil.Therefore a spoon made in two pieces in likely to be very early indeed. Until the late 17th century, says Helliwell, bowls tended to be large in proportion to the stems, which were slender and delicate up to this point. Apart from apostle spoons, with finials in the shape of saints, most spoons made before 1800 will look attractively plain to the modern eye.Helliwell explains that during the 19th century, decoration became more elaborate, more extensive and more heavily embossed, extending even to the bowl in the case of fruit spoons.